Notes: 191-96-2 All Time, Last year was a 1-2 series loss, Michigan
taking the last game. Game has been rained out and will not be made up.
Wednesday 6:35pm ET, Ray Fisher Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
|Stats||Audio (MGo)||BTN.com ($)|
Notes: The first of 4 games streamed this week, and a 5th to start next week .
My guess is Miller with the start.
Due to the limited 8 week conference schedule in the Big Ten, every year, one team is dropped off the conference schedule. There they stay for a two year conference hiatus, before returning for the next 18 years or otherwise depending on things working out in your hypothetical expansion rumor of the week.
This year, it's Michigan State's turn to rotate off the conference regular season slate. To keep the rivalry fresh, the two teams will tango in a mid-week home-and-home series opening Tuesday in East Lansing.
The Spartans had quite high hopes coming out of the first two seasons, even being a fringe ranked team, but they have suffered a near humiliating collapse over the last two weeks, falling from first place in conference to last. They're still a dangerous team, especially if Michigan were to face them on the weekend, but like any other team in the mid-week, nothing is a sure bet.
This series is absolutely meaningless from a conference tournament point of view, but no game against the Spartans will ever be taken lightly in these parts. So with that, we'll move to the slightly abbreviated team preview after the jump.
Why was I so feared, and you so loved? What was it? I was no less honorable. I wanted to do good. What betrayed me? My mind? My heart? Why do I condemn myself so? I swear, on the lives of my children: Give me a chance to redeem myself, and I will sin, no more.
If you have followed this series, you are now familiar with the message: light but focused recruiting plus really bad attrition equaled a defense with some really great players and some suicidal kittens.
Here's a question: based on recruiting and retention from 2006 to the present, how good will Michigan's defense be this year?
This diary will look at the talent on Michigan's roster in 2010 versus that of 2009, plus that of two rivals in that time, to try to get an idea of what kind of team we will be looking at this coming season.
In the first, we met the family.
In the second, we saw that family destroyed.
Today, I bring you Part III.
You know, the one that's chronologically incompatible with the other two, with the substantially lower production values, that rehashes old characters and plotlines from the previous flicks in order to squeeze more cachet out of the franchise.
In the third (and final?) installment of the Decimated Defense Trilogy, I will look to the future, comparing Michigan's 2010 defensive roster and attrition numbers against those of last year, and also against 2009 and 2010 for two relevant rivals: Ohio State and Michigan State.
Still interested? [ED: YES YOU ARE.]
Here's a few updates on the recruiting trail within the past couple days.
5'11, 185 lbs.
Evans and Aiken are higher on Michigan than Randall, at this point, but all three plan to trip to Michigan eventually. I spoke with Jonathan recently about Michigan, and here's what he had to say.
"Me and Spiffy were both excited about Michigan. I watch Michigan all the time on TV, and I think it would be great to play in that maize and blue. I'm probably going to wait until signing day, just to make sure everything's right. Curt and I want to go to the same school, too, so that's a good opportunity for us."
Jonathan actually brought up MGoBlog, and our very own Magnus.
"I read MGoBlog all the time, actually. You can relay the message, someone had thought I was related to Kumar Aiken, and I'm not. I read the post about my strengths and weaknesses, too. That was pretty cool."
The post he was referring to was on the front page, but originally here. Michigan has a really good shot at both Evans and Aiken. We might have to wait it out, but there is definitely high interest on both sides.
6'4, 260 lbs.
Ogemaw Heights, Michigan
Anthony has narrowed down his list to a top six, which consists of Michigan, Iowa, Michigan State, UCLA, Cincinnati, and Penn State.
As I've said before, Anthony has told me he will commit when he feels it's right. He's similar to Brennen Beyer, that he is a Michigan fan, but just wants to make sure everything is right. I would be shocked if Anthony doesn't end up picking Michigan. There isn't a set timetable on his decision, so presumably it could happen at any time. He will be in Ann Arbor on May 21st, for the Big House BBQ. I don't think it will happen then, but you never know.
6'5, 220 lbs.
Michigan's recently promoted coach, Adam Braithwaite was in school last week to evaluate Deion. Barnes received his offer at the spring game with the Stokes' and Top Prospects family. I outlined Deion in my defensive line post, and it seems like Michigan will be recruiting Barnes heavily.
He already has great size for only being a junior, with a frame that will be able to put on a good amount of weight. Barnes seems to play things quiet, but he has real interest in Michigan as well. It sounds like he's still waiting for more schools to offer before really narrowing things down. He currently has offers from Michigan, Louisville, Penn State, Pitt, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Virginia Tech Nike Camp
There were some big names at the Virginia Tech Nike Camp this past weekend. Among the most relevant for Michigan fans was Kris Frost. His teammate, QB Christian Lemay, also gets high praise in the article. Lemay recently committed to Georgia, so the answer to the question you were about to ask is no. Frost recently told me that Michigan is still his favorite, and that he would love to don the Maize and Blue. That remains true.
Demetrius Hart - No introduction, or picture needed here. I think everyone is well aware who he is. The Orlando Sentinel has an article up that quotes Demetrius saying Michigan is his leader, surprise! You'll notice in the article he says he wants to commit on the 22nd, but it might not work out. He and his family are still trying to work out a schedule to get his Dad up to Ann Arbor as well. If they can't make it work, the trip up to Michigan won't happen. Panic not, because this doesn't mean he won't still commit any time soon, or at a different venue. We'll see how it goes.
If you recall, I spoke with both Demetrius, and his mom about everything. Michigan will get his commitment, but he still plans on taking all of his visits. This sounds about right for the roller coaster of emotions that Michigan fans have been on so far.
Plant High School - ESPN will broadcast the Plant opener against Bradenton Manatee on August 27th. What this means for you? James Wilder is an animal, and you'll get to see him play, if nothing else. Also, his teammate OL Tony Posada holds a Michigan offer, and has mutual interest.
What a dump…
Michigan took it on the chin this weekend, dropping two games to open the series at Minnesota, but they battled back to win a close game three and keep pace with the Big Ten Joneses. Recaps, thoughts, and the opening stanza to a MICHIGAN STATE HATE mid-week series after the jump. And no, no pretty pictures as baseball can't be pretty in the Metrodome.
Just a little bit of change since last week, but ESPN did tweak their ratings a bit. Action since last rankings:
5-3-10 Iowa gains commitment from Austin Blythe.
Now that Iowa has jumped into the fray, Penn State and Purdue are the only Big Ten (plus Notre Dame) programs that don't have any commitments.
|Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# of Commits||Rivals 250||Scout Average||ESPN 150|
I'll only make charts for the teams that currently have commits. Rivals 250 means that a given prospect is on the Rivals 250 to Watch, and ESPN 150 means that a prospect is on the Watch List for the ESPNU 150. Scout ratings are on the 5-star scale.
|#1 Ohio State - 10 Commits|
ESPN now deems DE Chase Farris worthy of being on the ESPN150 watch list.
|#2 Notre Dame - 9 Commits|
Nothing new for the Irish.
|#3 Michigan - 4 Commits|
Brennen Beyer goes back on the ESPN150 watchlist.
|#4 Michigan State - 5 Commits|
|#5 Indiana - 8 Commits|
Teams are going to start passing the Hoosiers once they get more commits.
|#6 Minnesota - 2 Commits|
ESPN finally acknowledges that Calvin Phillips isn't committed to the Gophers (which he hasn't been for at least a couple months now).
|#7 Wisconsin - 2 Commits|
No change for Wisconsin.
|#8 Iowa - 3 Commits|
Iowa picks up a decent offensive lineman. They're right on the heels of Minnesota and Wisconsin, passing Northwestern and Illinois.
|#9 Northwestern - 2 Commits|
Both of NU's commits are unranked to the services.
|#10 Illinois - 2 Commits|
Still just two for the Illini.
This is a great time to stop for a moment and think about the legacy we are passing on to our children. Those of us that grew up listening to Tiger's baseball games late into summer evenings with our fathers and grandfathers are feeling a little like graduating seniors right now. In part celebrating the memories of a cherished part of our lives, and in part mourning the end of an era. I was never on the field for a single pitch of major league baseball. I have never felt the crack of the bat nor the grass in the outfield as I dove for a catch. Instead, my experience was that of a spectator in the bleachers at Tiger's stadium with my dad and uncles and brother. I remember hot dogs and wondering why everyone was booing Lou Whitaker. I remember keeping score in a program and how green the grass looked in comparison to the blue steel of the stadium. I also remember sitting in the yard by the lake and listening to Erie as the chicken cooked on the grill.
This year I took my two boys (5 and 3) to the Michigan spring game. It was their first trip to the big house and I was way more excited than they were. I thought of my first trip to a spring game and how Jim Harbaugh high fived us on the field after the game and gave his wristbands to my cousin. I remember crisp saturday mornings that fall playing football un the leaves in our yard and pretending I was Harbaugh. I cheered for him not because I remembered following him through recruiting or because I thought that he was a better pro style QB than his predecessor. I cheered for him because he wore a Michigan helmet and that was who my dad rooted for.
However this season goes, winning record or not, I hope that I will cheer proudly for my alma mater and my children will be able to look back when they are adults with their own children and not have their memories tarnished by complaining about coaches and yelling at 18 year old quarterbacks. I hope they remember loving football saturdays, maybe a little more when we won, but loving them even when we lost. I am quickly realizing that the time I get to spend with my kids and my grandfather and dad are fleeting and I would rather spend them cheering our team than complaining about it.